This article appears as an editorial in the February 2015 issue of Cycling World:
The inaugural Total Women’s Cycling Awards at the 2014 London Bike Show
I blame that second flat white in Caffe Nero. Back in late 2012, Vos Media’s Geraldine Reeve had invited us to meet up and discuss women’s cycling – a subject close to our hearts. We’d covered a lot of ground when – with just a whiff of Lieutenant Columbo – she slipped in: ‘just one other thing – we’re thinking about doing a women’s cycling awards… what do you reckon?’
My ears pricked up. Was there such thing? Not in the UK, I was pretty sure about that. But female cycling’s on such a surge, I pondered. Why on earth not?
‘Go on then, I’ll have another coffee’.
Coffee plays a part in most big ideas’ inceptions. This was no exception. Geraldine had already chatted to Ana Nichoola’s Anna Glowinski. From nowhere, we had three parties interesting in putting some fire under a first UK award ceremony to celebrate women’s cycling.
VeloVixen quickly signed up as the inaugural Headline Sponsors of an event that didn’t yet have a format, a venue or a date. Or even a name. We were excited. Whatever happened, it was going to help accelerate the momentum within women’s cycling.
It turned out we weren’t alone in our enthusiasm. Soon after, Vos Media joined forces with the mighty Telegraph Group – organisers of the London Bike Show. They liked the concept. Suddenly we had a venue and a massive media force to publicise it.
Things got better. Total Women’s Cycling – the biggest UK women’s cycling website – offered to run the inaugural event. With their proven ability to organise slick awards ceremonies, the plans began to become reality.
In February 2014, on the first evening of the London Bike Show, after months of hard work, the first Total Women’s Cycling Awards (in association with VeloVixen!) took place. It was standing room only. The 250 guests were unanimous that it marked a leap forward for women’s cycling in the UK.
Aside from the free drinks and seeing cycling friends everywhere we turned, we were delighted that the public vote nominated us one of 5 finalists in the Best Online Retailer category. We were up against the likes of Wiggle, Chain Reaction and Evans showed, proving the strength of women’s cycling. This thing had legs. Even Laura Trott’s parents were there.
And so we find ourselves hurtling towards the 2nd Total Women’s Cycling Awards at this year’s London Bike Show. We’re didn’t hesitate in renewing our headline sponsorship. Already it feels like an established part of the UK cycling calendar.
Most importantly, it’s a way for the British public to vote for those they feel are doing most for women’s cycling today. And that can only be a good thing.
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